I think it’s rather unfortunate that White’s have retained the name ‘Bullseye’ for their current pinpointer, the TRX. For over 60 years they have produced some of the best detectors and are renowned for a great after-sales service, but I was never enamoured with the original Bullseye’s performance.
The latest version of the pointer bears little relation to the original of the same name and is slim, sleek and compact, very much like other new generation units first introduced by Garrett in 2008 and copied by many others.
It has taken six years for White’s to get in on the act and I think it could be seen as time well spent and good news for their many loyal followers. In many areas they have improved on what is currently available.
It takes many hours in the field to discover the deficiencies and limitations of any new product. That’s why we often see modifications being made by users themselves or products produced by third party manufacturers to enhance the detecting experience. White’s have evidently taken notice and packed in a load of features unavailable on other probes.
Some of these are simple. For easier location if you ever leave it behind at the last hole, there is a bright orange battery cover. But this shouldn’t happen if you fit a lanyard to the built-in loop. If that isn’t enough the next ’fail safe’ device (provided you haven’t switched it off) is a long beep that will sound every 15 seconds. But, be quick for the lost pinpointer alarm will power down after five minutes. The holster (supplied) also includes a lanyard attachment loop.
There is a ruler imprinted into the housing for determining target depth; another simple idea that some users will find useful. It certainly interested – and delighted me – to see that scale was in inches. That’s understandable I suppose as the pointer is proudly manufactured in America, where they steadfastly stick to imperial measurements.
I have never had to replace the outer covering or shell on a pointer for I have never used one as a scraper, but White’s say that the TRX is built to last and an easily replaceable weatherproof cover is available should you need one, which is useful to know if it falls from a great height and cracks or if you ‘wear it out’.
Another innovation is that the TRX can accept either two easily replaceable AA batteries (included) or a single 9v battery. There are two low battery alerts, one of them a rapid blinking of the LED indicator.
All the features and instructions on locating and digging a target are given in the easy to understand small manual. Basically, you quick-press the button to start and press and hold the same button for half-a-second to turn off. The tuning is completely automatic. It couldn’t be easier.
In the field
So, how does the TRX perform in the field? It was given an extensive test on a four-day detecting rally and on another couple of outings. After extensive testing my friend was reluctant to give it back. That should be some indication of what he thought of the overall performance.
He noted the pointer’s area of detection is concentrated around the tip and the shaft is mainly a ‘dead’ area, but becomes active again when nearing the handle. That was unexpected and because of this, locating targets in the wall of a hole needed some practice and meant adapting to another way of working. Riffling through an area of spoil with only the tip being active was especially challenging.
What he liked was that the TRX had a greater depth of detection than any other probe he had used and that was “really handy”. He had never failed to find the target, saying, “This is a true pin-point machine”.
He also approved of the fact that the outer shell could be replaced as he had worn out a competitor’s machine and it had to be thrown away. The two-year warranty on the TRX was “good.”
With every new machine, extensive use will highlight areas of weakness. By its very nature, a review like this is unable to predict if there are major long-term problems. Some observations can be very subjective.
For example, one thing I noticed was that the speaker holes were very close to the On/Off button and in very muddy conditions they might easily become clogged. My friend didn’t think that this would be a problem.
Although I have just used the TRX around the home and in the garden I have been quite impressed with the overall performance and agree with my mate’s verdict when he said that this was the best probe he had ever used.
It may not be the cheapest available, but if you seek near perfection and can afford it, then you’ll be prepared to pay that price for the most complete pinpointer on the market. Holster included in price.
A version of this review was originally published in the UK Searcher magazine